Chicken, Bacon, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna

Pieces of free-range chicken breast, outdoor reared smokey bacon, spinach from our allotment (with a little help from Sainsburys) and chestnut mushrooms, layered between sheets of lasagna and wrapped in a cheesey sauce. A bit more time required than the usual fast healthy food, but worth it for no cooking the next day! I made this on Sunday and enjoyed it again on Monday.

Serves 4 :: 60 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: Lazy Leftovers :: 700 calories per portion

Ingredients

2 free-range, organic chicken breasts

6 rashers of outdoor reared, oragnic bacon (fat removed)

400g spinach

300g chestnut mushrooms

1 white onion

8 sheets of no pre-cook lasagna

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1tsp rosemary

1tsp bay leaves

1tsp oregano

Black pepper

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

50g cheddar cheese

50g parmesan cheese

300 ml semi skimmed milk (or enough to make a sauce consistency)

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 200C degrees or equivalent.

2. Dice the onion, chop the chicken into small pieces, cube the bacon, slice the mushrooms and crush the garlic.

3. Heat the olive oil on a very low heat in a large pan and gently fry the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and chicken. Once the chicken is sealed add the bacon and mushrooms.

4. Meanwhile, use a pestle and mortar to grind black pepper, rosemary, bay leaves and oregano and add to the pan, stirring until the mushrooms are soft.

5. Wash the spinach and add to the pan, putting the lid on to help steam it and reduce it quickly. You may need to add it in two batches. Once cooked down turn off the heat under the pan. Don’t worry if you find you have a lot of juices in the bottom of the pan, use gravy granules to thicken the sauce or if you prefer drain off. You do want some juices as these will evaporate in the hot oven.

6. Add butter to another pan on a low heat and once melted, add the flour to make a roux. Add a little milk and stir until smooth, then repeat until you have a sauce consistency. Grate in a little cheddar, adjusting to taste and keep on a very low heat (stirring regularly), while you create your lasagna.

7. Take a lasagna dish and spread out half the chicken and mushroom mixture onto the bottom, then arrange the lasagna sheets, then half the cheese sauce. Repeat with a second layer, making sure all the lasagna sheets are covered with sauce (to help them cook) and finish with grated parmesan.

8. Put in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown on top and serve.

Advertisements

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Spicy Moroccan vegetables in a delicious sauce with a crazy but oh-so-perfect secret ingredient served with wild rice and fresh flat leaf parsley all for under 400 calories.

5 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: 30 mins total :: 4 servings :: 380 cals per serving :: Doubler :: Lazy Leftovers

Ingredients:
* 2 sweet potatoes
* 2 courgettes
* 1 onion
* 1 red pepper
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 inch cube of peeled ginger (approx)
* 400g tin of chickpeas
* 1tsp dried cumin powder
* 1tsp dried curry powder
* 1tsp dried chilli flakes
* 1tsp dried cinnamon
* 1tsp dried coriander leaf
* Big pinch of salt (this is for 4 servings)
* 350ml of vegetable stock
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 400g tin of tomatoes
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 tbsp peanut butter
* 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
* 40g of wild rice & basmati brown rice per person (makes 100g cooked serving per person)

Directions:

1. Boil a kettle of water and cook the wild rice as per pack instructions (about 25 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic; grate the ginger and cut the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion and red pepper into similar sized pieces (about 1 inch).
3. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a large pan, then add the garlic and ginger and fry gently for 1 minute to release the flavour. Then add the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion, red pepper and salt then stirfry for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the cumin powder, curry powder, chilli flakes, coriander leaf and stirfry for a further minute before adding the tomatoes, lemon juice and stock.
5. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep simmering for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. In the final couple of minutes stir in the secret ingredient – peanut butter to warm through and thicken the sauce. Then serve with the rice, scattered with the fresh parsley.

Foodwitch Factoid:
Enjoy leftovers the next day with a pitta bread instead of rice for about the same calories or you can even enjoy it cold for lunch with a green salad to save 150 calories per serving (that’s a mere 230 calories and about 4 portions of veg per serving!).

Mushroom & Rustic Lentil Sauce with Wild Rice

Velvety portobello mushrooms in an aromatic lentil sauce infused with garlic and rosemary, served with wild rice and scattered with fresh parsley.

5 mins prep :: 20 mins cook :: 25 mins total :: 2 servings :: 486 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

Ingredients:
* 8 large flat portobello mushrooms
* 1 red onion
* 200ml vegetable stock
* 3 garlic cloves
* 4 tbsp fresh parsley
* 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
* 1 tbsp brandy or white wine (vegan friendly)
* 400g tin of brown lentils
* 80g wild rice
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* Black pepper
* Sea salt

Directions:
1. Boil a kettle of water, wipe the mushrooms, rinse the herbs and cook the rice following pack instructions (usually 20 minutes).
2. Slice the mushrooms into 1cm slices, finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and finely chop the fresh herbs.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the crushed garlic and onions and fry for 3 minutes until the onions are softening, then add the mushrooms with the rosemary and half the parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, boil a kettle with enough water to make 200ml of vegetable stock; drain and rinse the lentils and make the stock.
5. Add the lentils, brandy and stock to the mushrooms and adjust the heat to keep at a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally and cooking for 10 minutes until the rice is ready. By this time, the liquid will have reduced to leave you with a wonderfully aromatic sauce. Drain the rice and serve scattered with the remaining fresh parsley.

Suggestions & Alternatives
You can serve the mushroom and rustic lentil sauce with pasta or a jacket potato instead of rice. If you can’t decide, why not make double the amount to have a different way another day. Simply cover and refrigerate overnight then reheat in the pan on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. If you choose pasta for the 2nd time your dinner can be ready in under 10 minutes!

Hearty Farmhouse Minestrone

Satisfying thick and chunky version of the classic italian soup, made with autumn vegetables, pasta and beans. The sweetness of the swede and tomatoes combines with the rosemary to create a wonderfully heady aroma. Don’t worry if the cauliflower breaks up towards the end, this helps to create the thickness without needing to put the soup in a processor.

Serves 4 :: Make in 50 mins :: 420 calories per serving :: One-Off Wonder :: Easy Freezy Ready Meal :: Lazy Leftovers

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower
1 swede
2 carrots
1 onion
200g red kidney beans (1/2 tin)
400g ratatouillie (1 tin)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 tsp dried bay leaves (crushed)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp rosemary
Sea salt
200g wholewheat fusilli pasta
4 tbsp parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan cheese alternative)
4 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Chop the onion and fry gently in the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan until starting to soften (5 mins).

2. Boil a kettle of water, crumble the vegetable stock cubes into a measuring jug and make up a pint of stock.

3. Meanwhile, chop the carrot into chunky slices. Peel the swede and chop into similar sized pieces. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Add the carrot, swede, cauliflower, ratatouillie, vegetable stock, sea salt, dried oregano and dried bay leaves to the pan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, shave the cheese (lol), chop the fresh parsley, drain the beans and measure the pasta.

5. Add the pasta to the vegetable stew and boil hard, stirring occaisionally until the pasta is cooked (about 7-8 minutes – a minute or so longer than usual). Take care that the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom and burn.

6. Add the kidney beans about 3-4 minutes before the end to warm through, together with the dried rosemary to create an intenser flavour.

7. Serve up in bowls, scattered with the cheese and parsley.

Suggestions: Serve on it’s own or with a slice of bread and butter for an extra 150 calories. Freeze and simply defrost 10 hours before use or in the microwave. Reheat from fridge temperature in the microwave in 3-5 minutes, stirring half way though. Reheat on the hob on a medium temperature for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occaisionally.

Brocolli & Leek Chow Mein

Brocolli florets, leeks, beansprouts and noodles in a sweet soy, ginger, garlic sauce finished with sesame seeds.

Serves 2 :: Ready in 10 minutes :: 360 calories per serving :: One-Off Wonder :: Easy Freezy Ready Meal :: Lazy Leftovers ::

Ingredients:

1 brocolli
2 leeks
1/2 bag of beansprouts
1 small red chilli
1 inch ginger
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry (sub: white wine or lemon juice)
2 tsp clear honey
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 pinch chinese five spice powder
200g wholewheat noodles
4 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Chop the leeks and brocolli into small pieces. Peel and cut the ginger into matchsticks. Peel and cush the garlic. Slice the chilli.

2. Boil a kettle of water and cook the noodles as per packet instructions, then drain (3 mins).

3. Prepare the other ingredients. Add the oil to a large heavy bottomed pan or wok and put on a high heat.

4. When the oil is hot, add the half the garlic, ginger and chilli and stirfry for 1 minute, Add the brocolli and leeks and stirfry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the beansprouts and remaining garlic, ginger and chilli and stirfry for a minute.

5. Add the soy sauce, sherry, chinese five spice powder and drained noodles and stirfry for a further minute and serve scattered with the sesame seeds.